You’ve shot with a camcorder or used it to play back a tape and then left it unused with the cassette inside for months or years.
Now when you want to remove the tape and use it to convert it to digital, you can’t eject it.
Tape Stuck in Camcorder : Two Scenarios
There are two scenarios here. First, the camcorder powers on but you can’t eject the tape.
Second, you can’t power it on because of a non-functional battery pack or AC power adapter.
This problem is common with tape-based camcorders. They need to be powered on for you to load or eject a tape.
You won’t face this problem with a digital camcorder that uses memory cards for video storage. You can load or eject the memory card mechanically, independent of the power supply.
Let’s look at how you could find a possible solution to remove a stuck camcorder tape.
Tape Will Not Eject When You Power On Your Video Camera
This is an instance of tape stuck in the cassette compartment of your camcorder. When you power on your camcorder and press the Eject button, the camcorder tape door won’t open.
Before you jump to the conclusion that it’s a mechanical or electronic failure, try the fix below.
Use the Reset Button
Check whether your camcorder comes with a reset button. If it does, press the reset button with the camcorder turned on.
Then press the Eject button to see if the cassette compartment opens.
If you’re not sure whether your camcorder has a reset button, or where to find it, check the manual. If you don’t have the manual, check online for a PDF version of it.
Do a search camcorder brand and model manual + pdf
If the reset option isn’t available or doesn’t work, try this fix.
Powering Off and On Your Camcorder
Switch off your video camera and remove the battery pack. If your camcorder is connected to an AC power adapter, remove the connection as well.
Move the power switch to the VTR or Camera mode for 15 to 20 seconds.
Then move the switch to the OFF mode.
Now attach your battery to your camcorder. If you have an older battery that doesn’t charge well or has power drained fast, use the AC adapter.
After connecting the power supply, press the Eject button to see if it works.
If it doesn’t work, then it could be due to a mechanical or electronic failure. This would call for the services of a qualified camcorder technician.
Camcorder with Tape Stuck Without Power
What if you can’t power on the camcorder at all. Your battery is dead after leaving it lying around for years. Also, your AC adapter is not working. You’re now faced with the problem of getting the tape out of a dead camcorder.
In this instance, you have two options.
Get Replacement AC Adapter
Either get a replacement AC adapter which you’ll need to power on the camcorder and charge the battery.
Chances are you can’t get a replacement unit from the manufacturer. Analog camcorders or their accessories are no longer in production.
Still, you can source a replacement camcorder AC adapter online.
Can’t Eject Your Stuck Tape with Replacement AC Adapter?
Send the camcorder to a qualified service technician to have the tape removed.
If you’re good at disassembling electronic equipment and have the necessary tools, then you can do it yourself. Especially if you don’t need the camcorder anymore.
To remove the stuck video cassette in your camcorder, you may want to view a video like this as guidance.
You should only do this if you have experience with servicing electronic equipment and don’t mind damaging your camcorder if the worst happens. Otherwise, save the trouble and send it to a qualified technician.
We hope the above suggestions would help you remove a stuck camcorder tape.
Meanwhile, if you have tapes lying inside your old camcorders, do remove them while you can if you don’t want to go through the hassle of removing a cassette from a dead camcorder.